The tobacco industry uses fun flavors and tech devices to hook kids on nicotine. Why kids? A developing brain is easier to addict.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL ALERT: As students return to in-person learning, kids have more opportunities to use vapes. Parents and teachers should watch for warning signs like increased mood swings, anxiety, and even taking a lot of bathroom breaks. Teens who vape are at 5–7x greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19. Explore this site with your teen to learn why vaping is more dangerous than ever.


The tobacco industry profits by hooking kids on flavored nicotine.

Flavors Illustrated icon of a red cherry

  • 96% of high school kids in CA who vape use flavors.
  • Vapes come in kid-friendly flavors like Blue Razz, Pegasus Milk, Menthol Freeze.
  • Flavors mask tobacco’s harshness.
  • Flavoring chemicals can damage lungs.

New nicotine Illustrated icon of a blue nicotine molecule

  • Many tobacco companies use a highly concentrated form of nicotine called nicotine salts that’s engineered for vaping.
  • Tobacco companies often use nicotine salts in vapes instead of regular nicotine.
  • Nicotine salts allow higher concentrations to be inhaled more easily,  and absorbed more quickly, than regular nicotine.
  • Whether it’s regular nicotine or nicotine salts, addiction happens fast, and can lead to further substance abuse.

Poison Illustrated icon of a pink skull and cross bones

  • Nicotine is poison for the adolescent brain. 
  • Nicotine changes the way connections form in the brain. 
  • Nicotine can interfere with attention and learning.
  • Nicotine can increase anxiety, mood swings, and irritability.

Youth and young adult vaping is associated with 5 – 7x greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19.

In the last 2 years, vaping has increased by 218% among middle schoolers and 135% among high schoolers

96% of kids who vape use flavors

Teens are nearly 7x more likely to vape nicotine than adults

Marijuana vaping among youth has increased by 58% in a single year

Teens who vape are 3x more likely than non-vapers to become daily cigarette smokers

The average age of youth and young adults who try smokeless tobacco, like chew or snus, for the first time is 16.

An FDA Policy With a Dangerous Loophole

The youth vaping epidemic finally prompted FDA action. Victory? Not by a long shot. Pressure from the tobacco industry created a dangerous loophole that lets kids continue to get vapes in thousands of flavors, including menthol.


Since the flawed policy was adopted, sales of all menthol vapes have jumped by 52%. Companies that used to sell fruit-flavored or pre-filled flavor pods to kids changed tactics. Now, they push the vapes that remain unregulated, like menthol and disposable. No surprise, those sales are up.

FDA policy does not allow:

  • Any pre-filled flavored vape pods that snap into vapes like Juul pods. However, menthol and tobacco flavors are still allowed.
  • Synthetic nicotine to be treated any differently than nicotine from any other source.

FDA policy continues to allow:

  • All refillable flavored vapes, like Suorin and Smok.
  • All disposable flavored vapes, like Flum and Lush Flow.
  • Pre-filled menthol and tobacco-flavored pods.


Despite the FDA flavors policy, kids can still get certain types of vapes. Click each product for details.


Pre-Filled Pod Vapes

  • Silver Juul vape device JUUL
  • Purple Phix vape device PHIX

Pre-Filled Pod Vapes

The FDA ended the sale of vapes with pre-filled flavored pods like Juul and Phix. Despite the FDA policy, menthol- and tobacco-flavored pre-filled vape pods are still on the market. In fact, after the policy went into effect, sales of all menthol vape pods increased by 52%.


Refillable Vapes

  • Green Sourin vape device SUORIN DROP

Refillable Vapes

Suorin Drops are refillable. The FDA policy only prohibits pre-filled flavored pods, so these are still allowed in thousands of kid-friendly flavors.


Disposable Vapes

  • Red Posh vape device POSH

Disposable Vapes

Single-use disposable vapes like Posh Vape, Flum and Lush Flow don’t have pods. The vape itself contains the flavored nicotine. So these vapes in candy flavors like Frozen Strawberry, Blue Raspberry, and Apple sail right through the loophole and onto shelves. In fact, disposable vapes have had a great year since the FDA policy went into effect, enjoying the increase in sales of flavors that were restricted in pre-filled vape products like Juul.


Vape Pens

  • Purple vape pen Vape Pen

Vape Pens

Vape pens are refillable in thousands of kid-friendly flavors. They get through the FDA loophole because the policy states no more pre-filled pods, letting refillable vapes off the hook.


When will childhood addiction rates drop? When tobacco tastes like tobacco.

Young girl smoking a menthol vape


Communities up and down the state have moved quickly over the last few years to protect their kids from flavored tobacco products. But there’s still work to be done.
17 policies
Statewide Policy

Do Something

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The tobacco industry targets kids with flavors. Reaching out to your local officials can make a difference. Enter your name, choose your location and we’ll direct your email to your city’s mayor or your county supervisors.


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The tobacco industry’s replacement customers can’t legally buy their products but that hasn’t stopped the billion-dollar, Big Tobacco marketing machine from targeting our kids with social media ads, fun flavors, and products that appear less harmful than their parent’s cigarettes.

The tobacco industry has doubled down on addicting young people as their business model—harming kids’ health as they experiment with new products and flavors to see what sticks. Flavors such as menthol, Blue Razz, Banana Ice, and Arctic Cool Mint were created by the industry to mask the harsh taste of tobacco, which kids don’t like, making tobacco products easier to start using and even harder to quit. Big Tobacco depends on young people using their products to make a profit and keep them in business. Flavored vapes are kids’ product of choice. And teens who vape are 3x more likely to become daily cigarette smokers.

Most California high school students who use tobacco use vapes. Vaping allows higher concentrations of nicotine to be inhaled and absorbed more easily than other tobacco products like cigarettes. Nicotine—which is as addictive as heroin—is poison for the developing brain and rewires the brain to crave more of it. This creates nicotine withdrawal symptoms like headaches, restlessness, and the inability to concentrate. We know that nicotine can affect learning and increase anxiety, mood swings, and irritability.

It’s not all about vapes though. Other tobacco products are just as appealing for their wide array of flavors and low-cost ease of purchasing, such as smokeless tobacco like snus or chew, and little cigars and cigarillos. Unfortunately, these are also harmful to the developing brain and body because they also contain nicotine.

This is the moment to break the cycle of addiction. We have the power to create a better, future for our kids, and that starts with keeping Big Tobacco from targeting our kids for disease and death. We need your leadership on every aspect of the youth vaping epidemic now more urgently than ever.

Thank you for your leadership in the fight to stop the tobacco industry from targeting our kids. Banning the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes was an important step. Unfortunately, despite our local ban and a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy, menthol-flavored products are still on the market and available to kids. So the flavor widely recognized as Big Tobacco’s starter product is still on the market.

The FDA’s dangerous policy loophole is a win for tobacco companies. And when they win, our kids lose—with addiction, lung damage, and brain changes that could last their lifetimes

Let’s not let the tobacco industry get away with this. Over 90 California jurisdictions have already restricted the sale of ALL flavored tobacco products, including menthol, to protect their kids. We need your continued leadership on every aspect of the youth vaping epidemic now more urgently than ever.

Thank you for your leadership in the fight to protect our kids from targeting by the tobacco industry. I’m so grateful that our city has banned the sale of flavored tobacco products. We’re helping to keep kids safe from the serious health risks of nicotine.

Sadly, underage vaping continues to grow. I hope more people will work toward reversing the rise in teen vaping. California kids deserve the chance to live a healthy, nicotine-free childhood.

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